Morristown in Photo-Gravure, a viewbook of local Morristown attractions, was published in 1895 by William K. Muchmore, a Morristown stationer and bicycle dealer, and printed by the Albertype Company in Brooklyn, NY. Viewbooks were a popular and inexpensive memento and gift item for tourists at the turn of the 19th century. The Albertype Company in Brooklyn was formed in 1890, and was well known for printing postcards and viewbooks of locations throughout the United States. This scenic viewbook is an interesting pictorial record of 19th century Morristown, and includes images of businesses, churches, schools, homes, and tourist attractions. Many views in this book are of special interest today as they show 19th century Morristown buildings and landscapes that no longer exist.
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Morristown was a popular tourist destination in the late 19th century. Hotels, inns and other services throughout Morristown catered to out of town visitors who flocked here in great numbers. Morristown's association with George Washington and the Revolutionary War was a draw for 19th century tourists. Its surrounding countryside and towns were popular for day trips. Morristown's economic and social power were symbolized by its impressive public buildings, magnificent gilded age mansions and estates and elaborate social events.
A photogravure is not technically a photograph, but is created by a photomechanical process. Invented in 1879, the photogravure process involves photographically transferring an image to a metal plate and then printing from it. This procedure produced superior quality prints in large quantities. 19th century photogravures offered much more delicate tonal range and precision compared to other photomechanical processes of the time, such as the half-tone reproduction technique used in newspapers.